Democratic Underground

Government Ties
October 11, 2001
By Paul Winkelmann

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Try to recall, way back when, how the White House was going to be transformed from Clinton's den of iniquity into Bush's moral beacon for all of mankind - in part, by forcing its visitors and employees to don ties. This was just one of many silly gestures that was designed to separate the moral Republicans from the evil and immoral former residents. Yep, as I can clearly see from most photo-ops, the ties remain - but have the morals really changed?

I thought White House spokesman Ari Fleischer's bulging neck veins were going to stretch out his tie when he falsely accused the previous administration of vandalizing Air Force One and the White House. He later backpedalled on the accusations, but refused to positively admit the allegations were really outright lies. Although his tie looked freshly pressed, as he dodged this retraction.

I saw Dick Cheney, and his tie, leaving a secret meeting with Dick's favorite campaign donors from the oil, gas, and electricity companies, after they scripted our nation's energy policy. I think he was wearing a completely different tie when he illegally refused the GAO's request for that little get-together's guest list.

I saw Bush's Chief of Staff Andrew Card wearing a power tie while explaining why it was okay for him to clandestinely meet with executives and lobbyists from a company he owns stock in, and whose company is greatly affected by our president's policies. I heard rumor that most of the attendees to this secret meeting liked wearing their ties.

Ties at the White House were blowing every which way, on gusts of hot air, when Bush flip-flopped or backpedalled on ANWR, off-shore oil wells near Florida, CO2 emissions, trade with China, protecting Taiwan, government union contracts, spending the Social Security trust fund, etc. Wasn't it a red striped tie Bush was wearing when he accused Clinton/Gore of not keeping their word?

And when the airlines received the good news that they were going to get a big hand out from Bush, airline execs promised to freeze their salaries enough so that they wouldn't be able to buy ties - for a couple of minutes at least. Even as many of their now jobless employees were trying to figure out how to make nooses out of their ties.

I have to admit, I haven't heard of any sex-related tie episodes in the Oval Office, but then again, there hasn't been a multi-million dollar investigation into whether this has happened or not. I'll send Kenneth Starr a brand new necktie myself if this ever comes to pass.